BELLEVUE, WA – The suggestion by a University of Texas law professor that Monday’s deadly school shooting in Ohio was a “typical exercise of the Second Amendment” is an outrage, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.
Calvin Johnson teaches law at UT in Austin, and his comments appeared in an e-mail that was exposed by a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. The story also revealed that Johnson defended the City of Chicago’s handgun ban, which SAF successfully challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago. Prof. Johnson has also suggested that it is “quite reasonable” to dismiss James Madison’s motivations for including a right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights as “historical trivia.”
“To contend that Monday’s tragic school shooting is typical behavior for citizens exercising their rights under the Second Amendment is simply outrageous,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “What is even more alarming is that this fellow actually teaches law at an American university.”
Prof. Johnson reportedly sent a note to the Washington Free Beacon that stated, “The original meaning of the second amendment was to form a better militia. Under original meaning, guns fit into miliitias, [sic] and militias are subject to Presidential orders. Disobey the order and you can be shot. That is the real second amendment. The fake one allows high school adolescents to have easy access to the opportunity to work out their fantasies. That is bad originalism.”
“Someone with so little understanding of a major tenet of the Constitution should not be in front of a classroom,” Gottlieb observed. “If he can so deliberately distort the historic background of the Second Amendment, what else is he distorting to his students?
“Evidently,” he added, “Prof. Johnson is like so many other gun prohibitionists who habitually politicize and exploit tragedies to further an anti-gun agenda. We are stunned at Johnson’s callousness. Killing innocent people is no more an exercise of the Second Amendment than is Prof. Johnson’s abuse of his First Amendment right to engage in what amounts to scholarly malpractice. A man with his perspective should no more be teaching basket weaving than legal doctrine.”